Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 1...And They're Off!

I may have only gotten 3.5 hours of sleep before we left, but when we all got up yesterday morning, everything was packed and ready to go.  All we had to do was shower, dress, eat breakfast, and put a million bags of IV fluids and blue ice in our cooler with wheels and duct tape the cooler lid closed.

The limo and a Ford Explorer arrived literally on the stroke of 630.  They loaded up all of our luggage and the insanely heavy cooler, and then loaded us...after we took a picture.

So we headed to the airport in style.  Andrew played with all the gadgetry, and we all played the game "Discover the Pattern."  Caroline managed to stump the boys who were thinking way too hard for 630 am.

I anticipated a few issues checking the medical supplies.  Last time, I had to show documentation as to why we were carrying IV fluid.  But this time was a piece of cake.  He didn't even bat an eye at the Cooler Of Insanely Heavy Weight.  He just tagged it and sent it on its way down the conveyer belt.  Caroline thought it was so cool how the baggage all went down a really steep hill.  I just cringed, wondering if the wheels were gonna survive the trip, knowing that carrying it through the airport to the car in Miami would be enough to cause Andrew and Chris to mutiny.

The first flight was seamless.  Camden was a nervous wreck, but settled down about 30 minutes into the flight.  This was the first commercial flight for four of the kids...Then we got to Atlanta.  Caroline was desperate for a restroom, so she and I headed there while waiting for Billy to exit from the very the back of the plane.  We then walked as fast as possible to the next terminal, arriving at the gate just as they announced, "Last call for Coleman, party of 8, before we give away your seats."  Phew.  We literally just made it.  We had not previously received seat assignments, so as we are walking onto the plane we are trying to determine who is sitting with whom.  We are scattered all over the plane in 2's, so it was a little stressful.  But, it all worked out and we arrived safely in Miami which was the goal.

The condensed version from here to Marathon is:  We did get a rental van with no problems, drove around Miami looking for food and finally settled on a Wendy's cause we just wanted to get to the resort, stopped at Walmart for Will's required Powerade, water, and snack foods, then drove forever to Marathon, arriving at 730 last night.

When we walked into the resort office and gave them Will's name and the info from MAW, they were waiting for us.  The manager had apparently called and wanted to remind them to take a picture...they were so excited.  They told us they had a surprise in the unit for us and that there was more where that came from, and then they laughed and apologized to Billy and me.  Ruh Roh.  What exactly are we walking in to?

Well, they obviously have chatted with folks at MAW because once again, all of Will's favorite junk foods were waiting for him...the kitchen counter was covered with Sun Chips, 3 Muskateer Bars, Skittles, Mentos, Mentos Gum, a kite, a beach ball, and a pool noodle.  Wow.  The kids waited for me to take a picture then dove in. 

It had been a long day.  We did unpack, prepared for Thursday's snorkeling trip, and collapsed into bed.  The kids are not thrilled with another 530 am wake up call, but hey, they get to snorkel so no whining is allowed.

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